Going Down to Raleigh

by

Going Down to Raleigh: Stringband Music in the North Carolina Piedmont 1976-1998 (PineCone CD)

from http://www.pinecone.org and http://www.blueridgenow.com:

Going Down to Raleigh: Stringband Music in the North Carolina Piedmont 1976-1998 is a collection of field recordings that highlight the distinctive music traditions of the Piedmont region, including fiddlers, banjo players and other instrumentalists and singers who learned their music from family and friends. The 2-CD anthology includes full liner notes and documentary photos of the musicians. Listen to some samples from Going Down to Raleigh.

Musicians featured in the collection are: Virgil Craven, Lauchlin Shaw, A.C. Overton, Leonard Eubanks, Marvin Gaster, Beth Hartness, Rich Hartness, Jack Jones, Smith McInnis, Robert Mitchener, Fred Olson, Gerry Overton, Evelyn Shaw, Joe Thompson, Odell Thompson, Wade Yates, Glen Glass and Wayne Martin. These artists were recorded in the field by Bob Carlin, Barry Poss, and Wayne Martin.

The richness of musical traditions of the eastern and central North Carolina Piedmont comes into sharper focus when these musicians are heard together. Fiddle and banjo music have long established histories in the region, as evident from the particular tunes played, the instrumental and singing styles employed, and from the stories about where and how the pieces were learned.

None of the people  co-producer Wayne Martin recorded were playing music professionally and that was something they had no aspirations to do. Martin did what he could to get their music out to a wider audience, but convincing them it was worth the effort was a tall order.

“What I misinterpreted was their eagerness to promote themselves,” Martin says. “They weren’t at all interested. I remember finishing a recording with Lauchlin Shaw, and he was pleased with it. But it was never as important to him as it was to me to get a CD of his music out there. So not as many CDs as I’d hoped for came to pass. And this project was an attempt to bring them together in one place.”

The good part about that modesty is that it keeps the music real. Raw as it is, the music on “Going Down To Raleigh” sounds truly grounded in real life. But the downside of that modesty is that it makes the music easier to ignore. Martin can get downright evangelical about that.

“I’m not sure North Carolina knows itself that well,” he says. “I feel like more needs to be done to encourage us to embrace our own music and traditions. Not to glorify so much as know and understand. There’s a lot more to it: a historical context and economy that preceded what we have now and shaped this area. I’m doing my little part to get one piece out there so people can have more information.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s